Question: Do we live our lives empowered by the fact that our God raises the dead?
In 2 Corinthians 1: 8 - 9, Paul describes some major gut-wrenching, devastating trials he was going through. Though he doesn't tell us exactly what the trials were, we can infer that they could have been internal (sickness, anguish, depression) or external (persecution, physical abuse, or even wild animal attacks!) I am actually glad that Paul doesn't tell us exactly what those trials were. Not being specific enables us to apply this verse to our own lives, especially when we are in desperate circumstances.
"We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead."(NIV)
This verse reminds us that:
1. Our difficult life experiences increase our need to totally rely on God. Would you agree? When life is going great and smoothly, we tend to lean on our on power and understanding. We run the show. But when life gets difficult, we are reminded of how inadequate we are on our own and of how much we need a Savior. God is always worthy of our trust and reliance on Him. But we often make the choice to put Him aside and direct our own steps.
2. Our reliance on God increases our realization of His power. When we are at our wits end, and we decide to fully give ourselves and our situations to Him, He shows up in a mighty and miraculous way. We say, "I don't know what to do!" He responds,"Great. I'll take it from here!" We realize how powerful He is. We realize He is able.
Ever been in a situation you thought was hopeless? Ever thought a relationship or a dream or a circumstance was virtually dead? You did all you could do. You tried all you knew to try. And wearily, hopelessly, you laid it at the feet of Jesus. Paul says that in the most desperate of circumstances, it feels as we have been given the death sentence. And then Paul gives purpose to those painful circumstances - "that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God." And then he adds these four little words that make all the difference in the world.
who raises the dead. This is not about relying on just any god. This is about placing our lives in the hands of an Almighty God. Our God raises the dead! God can bring life to a dead situation. He can bring hope to your hopelessness. There is no one like Him. Are you living your life as if you are empowered by a god? A god who isn't real? A god who doesn't hear you? A god who doesn't love you and have a plan and purpose for your life?
Or are you living your life knowing that you are empowered by THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE? The Great I AM? The Lover of Your Soul? The God Who Has a Plan for Your Life? THE GOD WHO RAISES THE DEAD?
Would you join me in praying that we can live empowered by the fact that our God raises the dead?
Lord, help us to see our need to more fully rely on You and by doing so, see Your power at work in our lives.
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Unwrapping the gift of Him bringing life to my deadness,
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